A large environmental disaster has occurred in Roane county Tennessee. A dam has broken spilling ash from a coal plant across the countryside. The results of this has been misplaced home owners, dead fish and animals, and extremely high levels of arsenic in the drinking water. 100 times the suggested safe levels to be exact.
There are many concerns surrounding this disaster. First is the enviroment. Pictures are showing up online of shoreline littered with dead fish. This will spread to the birds and other animals that make fish a large part of their diet. It also contributes to the already stank odor in the air just from the spill
Next is the residents and homeowners in the area. Many are being relocated, during the holidays of all times, and are unable to return to their homes. Their homes, their cars their dream, last in a wave of ash. Several lawsuits are already filed, and Erin Brochevich herself is coming to view the area. With a team of New York lawyers of course.
Last is the arsenic in the water. The EPA reported it is 100 times the safe level, but tap water is safe to drink. Consuming arsenic contributes to bladder and kidney failure, increase the rate of cancer, and is generally not safe at all.
Currently TVA is seeding the area with grass seeds to try and contain it as much as possible, although I think this idea is rather stupid. The grass will be eaten by herbivores at some point, passing arsenic on to the carnivores. A rather long and tedius cycle.
As it stands now, there is high level of arsenic, cadmium and lead in water, air and earth in the area. The end results will not be realized for many years to come. Suprisingly, there is not a lot in the news except locally about this. I only hope more word gets out and more people become aware of what is happening.